by Mark Hardwick
View these articles and more at
“The Best in the Business Earn
the Borrower’s Trust,”
“A Look at Today’s Homebuyers,”
“These Leadership Traits Will
Serve You and Others Well,”
<< Teacher continued from Page 110 “By providing responsible, sound
advice early in the relationship,
originators set themselves up
for long-term success.”
cannot — and should not — always be the case. When
an originator adopts the heart of a teacher, it also
means having tough conversations with clients that
may lead them to another, better-suited option or to no
mortgage at all. Some borrowers are simply not financially equipped to take on a mortgage, or are in the
market for a specific type of loan, and it’s the mortgage originator’s responsibility to inform them of such
Although it’s always difficult to turn down a client
or send them elsewhere, it has numerous benefits for
originators in the long run. As much as borrowers want
to work with a mortgage originator who brings real,
tangible value to the table, they also want the originator to be truthful, honest and forthcoming in their
A potential borrower may not be ready for a mortgage at the present moment, but this is unlikely to
remain the case in the future. By providing responsible, sound advice early in the relationship, originators set themselves up for long-term success through
repeat business, referrals and better relations with
their own bottom line, not that of their borrowers. As
an originator, it’s time to do your part to change that
perception by walking borrowers through the wide
variety of options available to them, rather than pigeonholing them into loans that may not be the best fit.
Although mortgage originators may not have the
same fiduciary responsibility to their clients as financial advisors or consultants, they should embrace
the idea of helping borrowers make informed, well-developed financial decisions with their home purchase. Originators can do so by adopting a perspective
of fiscal responsibility on behalf of their borrowers —
one that’s designed to help them make the best
financial decision possible.
Borrowers today come from a wide variety of backgrounds and financial positions. One of the most frequent conversations for homebuyers revolves around
“how much home” they can truly afford. This line of
thought does not usually help borrowers make the
most well-informed financial decisions, however.
Fortunately for originators, lenders and borrowers
alike, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” mortgage. The
30-year fixed-rate loan has remained the industry
standard for many years, but that does not mean it will
be a good fit for every borrower, or even for repeat
clients. There are a wide variety of loan programs out
there, each with the potential to help borrowers pay
down their mortgage quicker or, at the very least,
allow them to live a more financially stable life.
Keep in mind as well that borrowers themselves
have access to more information about the mortgage
process, and the mortgage professionals they work
with, than ever before. Simply touting a lender’s weekly
or daily interest rates as “the lowest around” is not
enough to engage borrowers and build a lifelong relationship. Today’s borrowers will instead look to work
with originators who reflect their financial interests
and goals through the guidance they offer.
Mortgage originators today have the unique opportunity to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.
The industry is shifting from a refinance-driven market
to an increasing focus on purchase-loan originations.
This is no surprise in a cyclical market such as mortgage finance, but it’s an important consideration for
those who may be new to the industry or trying to find
Whereas refinance markets are largely driven by
rates, borrowers in a purchase market select mortgage
originators based on the true value they can bring to
the table with each transaction. This goes well beyond
interest rates and toward the relationships that an
originator has with clients, lenders, real estate agents,
other partners and their communities.
Not only do borrowers want to work with a mortgage originator who understands them, they also want
an originator who is capable of guiding them through
the mortgage process with the heart of a teacher. This
is a phrase that represents much more than acting as
a salesperson trying to market one’s loans. It means
serving as a trusted adviser, mentor and coach —
someone the borrower can engage with on a personal
level to discuss their most intimate financial concerns.
Of course, even though originators want all of their
potential clients to close a loan with them, this
Just as it’s important for mortgage originators to
engage borrowers with the heart of a teacher, it’s also
important for them to recognize the importance of
philanthropy and giving back to the people they serve.
This is a critical foundation of success for any originator because potential clients want to work with people
and organizations that take on social responsibility for
causes that have meaning to them as well.
Whether this charity is in the form of public workshops, donations to nonprofit organizations, food
drives or partnerships, every little bit helps. Most
importantly, it all has the ability to change a life — the
ultimate goal of all philanthropy.
Banks have for years capitalized on this strategy, promoting themselves as cornerstones of their local communities. It’s time for originators and all the lenders
they work with to recognize the role they play as well
and strive to do more. This commitment to philanthropy should not come across as solely a public-relations initiative, however. Such tactics are clearly
apparent to clients and can actually hurt a brand if
viewed as disingenuous. When done correctly —
and with honest intent — these charitable efforts can
yield significant benefits for originators and lenders
alike, as well as for the communities in which they
Employees also are critical to a mortgage company’s
philanthropic efforts. They serve as stewards of the
company’s relationship with its local community. In
order to engage employees in this effort, however,
they must be treated with care and respect.
Mortgage originators who understand — and
believe in — their employer’s commitment to personal
success will treat clients well. Those clients, in turn, will
return that same consideration. Of course, mortgage
companies should not do this to the exclusion of being
a profitable business, but when such action is taken,
the circle is able to continue and profits tend to take
care of themselves.
n n n
Today’s mortgage market may be one of the most
competitive in terms of engaging borrowers and driving business. At the same time, borrowers are more
educated, prepared and fiscally responsible when
compared to previous generations, and mortgage
originators and lenders alike must recognize that they
require much more than a competitive interest rate.
Borrowers want to work with mortgage originators
who truly care for their personal well-being, understand their needs and will help them make the best
decision possible to achieve the American dream of